INF 391F - Advanced Topics in Research Methods, Methodologies, and Design: Field Study In Humanities Work
Graduate standing, Information Studies 391D (Topic 11: The Research Enterprise), or consent of instructor. Additional prerequisites may vary with the topic.
The equivalent of three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.
The class will learn and practice qualitative field methods, including ethnographic techniques of observation and interviewing, and apply them to studying projects and practitioners in the humanities. In particular, we will use these methods to consider the nature of work in the humanities in the information age. Humanists work within information institutions to collect, preserve, interpret and disseminate information. As such, they share much with other kinds of "knowledge workers" in business, medicine, law, and engineering. Historically, however, studies of information work and knowledge workers have focused on how technologies have impacted these other professions, even while cultural critics argue that humanists offer fundamentally different perspectives on knowledge production.
Questions we will consider include: What is the "knowledge work" that humanists do? How do information technologies impact that work? How do we observe and study this "knowledge work"?
In focusing on humanists at work, we hope to better understand the study of information work and knowledge workers more broadly.
Field Study In Humanities Work